Akamai VS. Cloudflare: Which One to Choose

When the internet users are increasing exponentially, adding above 900,000 new users each day worldwide, serving them with speedy websites tailored for each device is a must. CDN (Content Delivery Network), the hype of today’s highly competitive digital market, comes into use to offer visitors a better user experience. It is essentially a clustered system comprising web servers and data centers that aim to lessen web page loading delay by caching and storing static content in its servers and delivering them to the users from their nearest PoP (Points of Presence). 

Let’s put insight into Akamai vs. Cloudflare, two leading CDN providers, to help you understand their services and features to choose the best one. 

What is Akamai CDN

Founded in 1998, Akamai is one of the oldest and most efficient CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) in today’s market, serving some of the world’s famous companies, like Facebook, and Twitter.

Akamai holds the prestigious tag of being the world’s largest CDN provider, serving around 15%-30% of web traffic worldwide. 

Akamai CDN Features

Let’s have a look at the unique features of this high-performance CDN service:

  • Route Optimisation: With Akamai’s Sure-Route technology, it can direct a content request to the edge server nearest to the user and ensure a reliable fetching system.
  • Dynamic and Static Content Caching: While most CDNs can cache only static content, Akamai stands out from the pack by caching and optimising dynamic content delivery besides static one, which, in return, boosts download speed.
  • Robust Security: With multiple protective layers, Akamai ensures your users enjoy secure browsing, and your origin server is untouchable by malicious requests or IPs. It features WAF, DDoS attacks mitigation, SSL/TLS certificate, real-time analysis to check suspicious users.
  • Pre-Fetching: With its cutting-edge pre-fetching feature, Akamai ensures better browsing to your site users by pre-fetching a file that is in high demand. 

Pros of Akamai CDN

Some of the notable pros of this leading service are:

  • Supports live video streaming
  • Available cloud storage via Akamai Net Storage
  • Real-time content-analytics 
  • 2.3 TB/second bandwidth for DDoS mitigation

Cons of Akamai CDN

  • Expensive than other third-party CDN providers
  • Highly expanded infrastructure make the security propagation a little bit slow

What is Cloudflare CDN

Serving over 200 cities of 90+ countries, Cloudflare is another high-performance service in the CDN industry with more than 20 million internet properties on its geographically scattered network. 

With its surpassing security and top-notch features, Cloudflare is serving over 172 companies currently, including ParkerGale Capital, Great Rail Journeys, etc. 

Cloudflare CDN Features

Some of the surpassing features of this CDN Provider are:

  • Easy to Use: Integrating Cloudflare with your CMS is effortless. It features a user-friendly interface that enables web owners to modify the DNS and control the system better.
  • Highly Customisable: Cloudflare offers an incredible customisation facility by enabling you to control the content caching process.
  • 100% Uptime Guaranteed: One of the surpassing features of Cloudflare CDN is that it guarantees 100% uptime. Don’t worry if your origin server goes down for a while. As your content is cached over Cloudflare edge servers, your static assets are always up for the visitors. 
  • Top-notch Security Options: Like Akamai, Cloudflare edge servers also protect your end-users and site from bad bots and DDoS attacks and SQL injection with WAF and its high-end algorithm. 

Pros of Cloudflare CDN

  • It offers a free plan, also has premium plans
  • 2-factor authentication for better protection
  • Robust, secure, and speedy DNS
  • Free SSL certificate

Cons of Cloudflare CDN

  • No technical assistant and image/video optimisation for free plan
  • Web traffic analytics are limited to premium plans

Akamai VS. Cloudflare: The Differences Based on Various Criteria

Now that you have an in-depth overview of both Akamai and Cloudflare services, let’s go through some of the differences between them:

TCP Connection Packet for Better Performance

As performance is a significant criterion to influence your buying decision, let’s analyse both Akamai and Cloudflare performance based on TCP connection packets. 

While Akamai has 16 TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) packets, Cloudflare has only 10

The larger TCP packets a CDN has, the more successfully and efficiently it can transfer data packets over the internet between devices.

  • Result: Akamai wins the race of performance.

The Difference in Security Options

Akamai is a high-performance CDN that ensures top-notch cloud security for enabling businesses to keep their system and users secured. Employing the Prolexic PLXedge route, Akamai keeps your application and site secure from DDoS attacks, besides alerting you of imminent attacks. But Akamai CDN doesn’t offer a free SSL certificate or two-factor authentication. 

Cloudflare has its reputation of mitigating even 300 Gbps DDoS attacks. Its resilient and robust security system keeps abusive bots, cyber threats, bad traffic, malicious IPs, and layer 3 and 4 DDoS attacks away from your API, application, and website to ensure a more secure network infrastructure. 

For ensuring top-notch security, Cloudflare comes with a free SSL certificate and 2-factor authentication.

  • Result: While considering the security options, Cloudflare beats Akamai offering extensive DDoS protection and a free SSL certificate with its plans.

Pricing: Another Factor to Consider

The best part of Cloudflare CDN is that it offers a free plan with quality features. However, if you want upgraded features, they have plenty of cost-effective options: pro, business, and enterprise plans. Don’t worry if you require enterprise-grade security with customisable settings coupled with more advanced and robust tools, reporting, and support. You have the enterprise plan!

On the other hand, though Akamai doesn’t provide any information about their pricing and doesn’t offer any free plan, they offer a pay-as-you-go facility. It means that your bill will be scaled based on your traffic load. To get a comprehensive idea about the Akamai pricing process and how it works with startups, you can opt for a quick call with their customer support, and they will be happy to assist you!

  • Result: Offering unbeatable features with the free plan and giving a clear view of the pricing process, Cloudflare again wins the race considering the cost. 

PoPs Location

The location and number of PoPs are two significant factors when you consider a CDN for purchasing. Though Cloudflare offers thorough coverage worldwide, Akamai provides the most extensive coverage with 325,000 servers in 135+ countries and almost 1,435 networks.

  • Result: Akamai, with its highly distributed servers worldwide, is the clear winner when considering geographic coverage. 

Akamai vs. Cloudflare: Which One to Choose

Both Akamai and Cloudflare come with impeccable features and functionality to match your business needs. You have to choose the best one that meets your specific case. 

For instance:

  • If you require a CDN to ensure scalability to the website of your large business, Akamai, specialised in optimising the performance of websites with massive traffic, can be your ultimate choice. 
  • If you run a middle/small-sized business or blog website, the most viable solution for quality features and top-notch security can be the Cloudflare free plan. 

How a CDN Works: Understand How a CDN Speeds up Your Website

With the tremendous growth of internet reach, more people today stay connected online for seamless communication, entertainment, knowledge sharing, accessing the global workforce, and more! This exponentially increasing internet user facilitates businesses by offering the opportunity to broaden their virtual reach through websites. 

But, to sustain the site’s optimal status and stand out from the pack in this competitive digital marketplace, offering seamless browsing is vital. Here comes the significance of incorporating a CDN with your site. 

If you wonder about this service and how a CDN works, I have come with everything essential. 

What is a CDN

A CDN is a group of web servers with dedicated PoPs (Points of Presence) positioned worldwide. After getting integrated with your site, it ensures website availability, optimises asset delivery, and offloads traffic from the hosting server. Thus it offers an impeccable user experience. 

Whether you run a B2B or B2C site with extensive visitors outside the origin server location, you can reap the advantages of CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and speed up your site. 

Edge Servers

These are separate computers installed at the PoPs of a network and act as the bridge between two networks.

 A CDN edge server:

  • Caches your site content, receiving it from the host server. 
  • Offers smooth and optimised delivery
  • Facilitates traffic management
  • Limits latency

Types of CDN

CDNs are of two kinds:

  • Push CDN: Push CDNs work similarly to a host server. They already store and distribute cached data at the edge servers collecting it from the origin server, irrespective of an access request. With a push CDN, you get the flexibility to determine which content to ‘push’ to the CDN, when to update or expire it. 
  • Pull CDN: In a pull CDN, the CDN doesn’t cache web pages or data in advance. Once it gets a request, it ‘pulls’ the original file from the host server. It then caches it for further requests. You only have to put the pages in the hosting server and rewrite the URL pointing to the CDN. 

Origin Server

It is essentially the server that hosts your site and stores associated data and content. Unless you add a CDN to your site, visitors’ requests are responded and served by the origin server. 

How a CDN Works

A CDN aims to cache files to transfer them to the users from the servers proximal to them. 

Let’s get an in-depth overview of how a CDN works:

  • Let’s assume someone has requested a static resource (images,videos, Javascript, HTML, etc.) of your website.
  • If you have already incorporated a CDN, the CDN will retrieve the original content or page from the host server.
  • The edge server (caching server) most proximate to that visitor will copy and forward it.
  • If the edge server gets further requests from the same user to access the same asset, it sends the cached content.
  • If a CDN server accepts a request for the first time, it repeats the preceding steps and transfers the content after caching. 

Let’s understand the process with a simple example:

  • Let’s imagine a visitor from the USA has made an access request for content or page of your UK-hosted site. 
  • If you serve the visitor with your origin server, it will produce a delay of a few milliseconds to load a web page, as the request will require to travel over the Atlantic!
  • CDNs aim to decrease this delay (latency) by storing your site data in various locations.
  • For instance, when you add a CDN to your site and transfer the page to that USA user from the PoP placed in the USA closest to him/her, the page will load faster, boosting performance. 

Why Employing a CDN

The reasons to implement a CDN are many and not limited to:

Lowered Bandwidth Usage and Cost

Through caching static resources (sometimes both static and dynamic) and delivering them to the users, CDNs ensure fewer data transfers from the origin server. The fewer data an origin server has to handle, the less bandwidth will be consumed, which, in return, will cut bandwidth expenses. 

CDN Ensures Redundancy and Content availability

Your site may slow down or even crash due to heavy traffic or hardware malfunctions. CDNs can manage heavy traffic, distribute content across the caching servers, and keep your site available. 

Top-notch Security

All CDNs offer some basic security measures to safeguard sites from cyber attacks. The providers ensure top-notch protection against DDoS attacks, abusive bots, data loss, and suspicious IPs with WAF (Web Application Firewall), SSL certificate, and TLS encryption

Boosted Speed and Performance

Latency, the delay a server makes to respond to a user’s request, is the leading reason for a higher bounce rate in websites. CDNs ensure well-managed load distribution among CDN servers and send data from the PoP positioned near to end-users. 

The less distance a request has to cover, the more increased the loading speed is. It boosts your site performance, offers a high-performance network, and your users can enjoy a better browsing experience resulting in lowered bounce rate.

What to Look for in a CDN

Are you considering adding a CDN service to your site, but wondering what criteria you should focus on? Evaluate the following factors before choosing one:

  • Pull and Push Functionality: If your site experiences heavy traffic, go for a pull CDN. For a website with less traffic, a push CDN works great.
  • Look for logging Features: Evaluate if the CDN you consider employing is rich in logging features for effortless storing, searching, monitoring, and analysing logging data. 
  • Customisation: You should always go with the CDN that enables web owners to customise the service according to their requirements. Look for a provider that features customisation for SEO, security certificate, delivery, etc. 
  • DDoS Attack Mitigation: Another vital factor you should focus on while buying a CDN service is whether it comes with DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack mitigation to shield your optimal traffic from malicious attempts.
  • HTTP/2 Support: Evaluate if the CDN you have selected comes with HTTP/2 support that can make your site perform excellently and offer your users a more seamless web browsing experience than HTTP/1.1.
  • Real-time Analytics: It is another significant factor in a CDN you cannot overlook. A service that offers real-time analytics enables you to monitor and analyse web traffic, cache, and cyber threats keeping an expert eye on the host server’s overall state. 

BunnyCDN Review: Is It Worth Investment?

Do you want your stand-alone business to thrive on the internet with a high-speed and optimally performed site? A high-performance CDN (Content Delivery Network), a well-planned and worldwide distribution of PoPs and servers for limiting latency and boosting site speed, can be your help. 

While roaming around the CDN market for choosing a quality CDN, you will find hundreds of products. If you are searching for a lighting-fast CDN with robust infrastructure, BunnyCDN can be your pick. 

I have put together a comprehensive BunnyCDN review so that you analyse their services and features. 

BunnyCDN Review: The Introduction

Based in Slovenia, BunnyCDN is a high-performance yet cost-effective CDN service that started its journey in 2015, intending to offer visitors an excellent site browsing experience. 

With its geographically scattered 54 data centers covering 6-continents, BunnyCDN ensures your website content loads faster on your users’ devices, thus improving load time. With its Oceania located 6 PoPs, it now can serve the users of New Zealand and Australia better. 

BunnyCDN, with its versatile pricing schemes, features, worldwide located servers, cloud storage, and media file optimisation facility, has already made some of the world’s leading giants like Hyundai, Streamable, etc., hop quicker and skyrocket to success! 

Like 750.000 websites already relying on BunnyCDN, with this high-performance next-generation CDN service, you now have the power to accelerate your application or site like never before!

BunnyCDN Review: Top-notch Features

Now that you have got a brief overview of the CDN company, let’s enlighten you with some of its surpassing features that let BunnyCDN stand out from the pack:

  • 99% Uptime Guaranteed: With data centers scattered in around 28 countries worldwide, BunnyCDN ensures lightning-fast static asset delivery with the guarantee of 99% uptime. Its highly-engineered servers are advanced SSD and NVMe powered that guarantees your web pages will load faster on users’ devices encountering latency of only 30 milliseconds irrespective of their location!
  • Anycast DNS: To optimise website performance and direct users’ requests to their nearest server, BunnyCDN has built a Global Anycast DNS solution, a powerful algorithm to route traffic and manage it efficiently. As anycast DNS can make visitors’ requests hit the nearest PoP facing fewer internet hops, using it can improve load time, resulting in a better user experience. 
  • Intuitive Dashboard: BunnyCDN is not only a top-class CDN service with robust network infrastructure, but it also has super-fast UI coupled with an easy-to-navigate dashboard. 
  • BunnyCDN Image Optimiser: BunnyCDN features an Image Optimiser that comes for £6.74/month that enables web owners to deliver optimised and quality images. With BunnyCDN Image Optimiser, compressing, reshaping, resizing, or minification of your pictures, JavaScript, or CSS files and delivering them as WEBP have become so easy like never before!
  • Video Delivery: Video is the most vital part of modern websites. But it can increase the page size significantly, which can hamper the optimal page loading. BunnyCDN, with its geographically spread servers backed by 18TBPS line capacity and NVMe SSD technology, guarantees your videos don’t buffer, and the visitors can enjoy a seamless viewing experience. 
  • Cloud Storage: BunnyCDN comes with cloud storage of virtually unlimited capacity that enables website owners to store large files and save space on the origin server. BunnyCDN cloud storage permits you to save up to 10TB without breaking your bank (£0.0071/month)!
  • HTTP/2: It also comes with HTTP/2 support to enable a site to load multiple files simultaneously. So you can accelerate your site’s speed by splitting the CSS. Furthermore, with its GZip and Brotli, now, you can compress images for quick delivery. 
  • Free SSL Certificate: Unless your CDN comes with cutting-edge protection, your site content and visitors may encounter security vulnerability. To protect your site, applications, and end-users, BunnyCDN offers a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. It also allows you to employ other third-party certificates. 
  • Real-time Reporting: BunnyCDN features real-time analytics and reporting for monitoring your traffic, bandwidth used, and cached content for better control and management.

Bunny CDN Pricing

This high-performance CDN service comes at a very affordable price featuring pay-as-you-go pricing with the cost starting from £0.0071/GB!

You have two option:

  • Standard Tire: The pricing starts from £0.85/GB in North America and Europe. With globally positioned 54 PoPs, the Standard tier serves small/mid-sized websites best.
  • High Volume Tier: The price varies depending on the Terabyte used, and you have to pay £0.42/GB for the first 500TB. With 8 PoPs, it is suitable for large websites loaded with videos, pictures, and media files. 

BunnyCDN Promo Code

Do you require a BunnyCDN promo code to enjoy additional services? No matter if you are a new or repeating user. If you have a promo code, you can apply it after signing up for BunnyCDN services and enjoy special privileges!

BunnyCDN Integration with CMS

BunnyCDN, featuring incredible functionalities, also supports easy integration to almost all leading CMSs, including Drupal, WordPress, etc. The process may vary based on the CMS you have. For instance, WordPress supports CDN integration through plugins.

You only have to:

  • Signup to BunnyCDN
  • Create a pull zone and
  • install your preferred plugin specified for your CMS ad configure it

But before that, make sure BunnyCDN supports integration with your CMS. 

BunnyCDN Review: Pros

  • Intuitive control panel
  • 24/7 customer assistance available
  • Facility to add multiple pull zones in a single account
  • Flexible payment with various payment options
  • Comes with Bunny Stream (fully customisable) for online video delivery
  • No additional cost for Bunny Stream
  • Offers 14-days free trial
  • Perma-cache & origin shielding
  • DDoS protection and IP blacklisting for better security
  • Cheapest among high-performance CDNs

BunnyCDN Review: Cons

  • It doesn’t support live streaming.
  • No over-phone or real-time chat for support. The BunnyCDN team helps via email only. 
  • No facility to edit a file once uploaded. You need to delete, edit and upload again.
  • No WAF (Web Application Firewall)
  • It doesn’t support dynamic content delivery.

The Verdict

BunnyCDN, with its surpassing features like cloud storage, BunnyCDN Stream, and Bunny Optimiser and affordable pricing plans, no doubt, can be your choice to accelerate your site performance.

 It is an effortless-to-use yet efficient CDN service that can offer better control over the system and make your website super-speedy!

The Best CDN: Everything You Need to Know

Are you noticing your website is slowing down, or videos you upload are buffering continuously? The time has come to switch to the best CDN (Content Delivery Networks) to make your content thrive on the web! Whether you own large websites or small ones, to make them flourish and ensure excellent customer satisfaction, you must use a reliable CDN service. 

CDNs are even more significant for IT companies where the web resources reflect the service competency and the businesses run on the swiftness they can ensure in content delivery. 

While businesses are ready to spend thousands to offer the best web experience for their visitors, picking the best CDN is not a cup of tea. 

To help you pick the most competent CDN providers and know everything essential, I offer a precise overview. 

What is CDN

A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a globally distributed platform of web servers and data centers that ensure faster loading by limiting latency: the delay between the user’s request and the web page’s response to loading fully. It thus reduces the distance between end-users and servers. 

Almost every second site uses CDNs to boost performance and ensure customer satisfaction. But not all websites can get the same benefits from this service. 

Sectors where CDN are indispensable part are:

How Does CDN Work

When the visitors have to access a page via the origin server, they may experience poor loading speed. CDN aims to combat this issue by caching and placing your content in various locations simultaneously after retrieving content from the host server. So the website is available to the users at a faster loading speed.  

  • A CDN saves cache content throughout its servers, also termed as PoPs (Points of Presence). 
  • These PoPs, with their caching servers, deliver the content to the visitors upon request.
  • Thus the visitors can access data from the edge servers closer to them, experiencing improved page loading.

Benefits of CDN

The tremendous benefits the best CDN services offer businesses are:

  • It Improves Loading Time: By placing your website content closer to your visitors, a CDN guarantees improved loading speed. By decreasing bounce rates, it ensures users spend more time on your sites. By serving site content from the closer proxy servers to the users, CDNs improve download speed and limit buffering. 
  • CDNs Contribute to Lower Bandwidth Utilisation: By offloading content delivery from the hosting server, CDN ensures reduced bandwidth usage. 
  • It Boosts Website Performance: Decreased latency coupled with lower bandwidth utilisation: the ultimate solution to boost website performance. Moreover, some CDNs come with a performance customisation facility with self-service tools.
  • CDN Boosts SEO Ranking: As a website owner, you always want your sites to rank on Google, right? By ensuring improved loading speed, and crawling frequency, and reduced bounce rates, CDNs help your site rank. 
  • CDNS Ensure Higher Security: Modern CDNs are highly encrypted systems with SSL certificate, Secure Tokens, etc., and ensure utter security to the cached data. Advanced CDNs can also offer DDoS attack mitigation manually or handled by the providers.  
  • CDN Reduces Website Hosting Expenses: As a web hosting provider charges upon bandwidth (how much data is getting transferred from and to the hosting server in a fixed time), CDNs can help you lower the cost by reducing traffic load from the origin server. CDNs also limit the requirement of hosted infrastructure by efficiently managing your content resources. 
  • Offers Easy Integration: From framework integration to CMS integration, advanced CDNs come with a wide range of compatibility. 

How to Pick a CDN

With the market buzzing with so many services, picking the best CDN may seem a bit tricky. 

Before making the decision, count on considering the following factors:

Know Your Requirements

Not all CDNs can match everyone’s requirements. To make the best decision, understand your content type. For instance, if you want your video and photo content to accelerate, focusing on network bandwidth must be your preference. For dynamic content, count on middle mile intelligence, end-to-end network connectivity, software stack optimisation, etc. 

Keep an expert eye on your user distribution. If your CDN service cannot offer coverage in your target region, count on providers who can cover your required geographical range. 

Assess the Performance and Capabilities

To pick the most reliable CDN for your specific case, you must understand the performance criteria and capabilities of advanced CDNs. The Key features every CDN service must include are:

  • Image optimisation
  • Mobile application and API acceleration
  • Advanced edge logics
  • Predictive cache, etc.

While evaluating the performance, count on analysing the following factors:

  • Network latency: The time it requires for data to get transferred from the server to the end-users plus the data processing time.
  • Availability: If the network is online and available to visitors. CDNs aim to make web pages more available and accessible to end-users. 
  • Throughput: The measure of data exchanged over a specific time between server and end-users.  

Before you decide on a provider, evaluate its performance data of 48 hours minimum. 

Count on Security

Ensuring utter security should be the aim of every advanced CDN when hacking is a common occurrence nowadays. The CDN you pick must come with DDoS attack mitigation, SSL certification, abusive bot blocking, content spamming control, etc., to ensure your content and website are secured and user identity and transactions are shielded against cyber attacks. 

Customer Service

Pick the best CDN service that offers 24/7/365 surveillance and customer support worldwide backed by expert assistance. Thus the customers can get top-notch experience while video streaming, using the website, and mobile application.

Consider Cost and Pricing

It is another significant criterion to consider. If your website is for mission-critical works where even fractions of milliseconds matter, count on picking a CDN that offers high performance. Such a service will also cost you a bit high. If that’s not the case, you can go with an affordable service that comes with quality performance. 

Top 10 CDN: Choose the Best CDN to Improve your Website Performance

Do you need dynamic site acceleration and a high-performance network? There is no alternative to employing Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), your ultimate solution to optimise content delivery. 

Powering your site with a quality CDN helps it thrive on the internet, lets your end-users enjoy seamless web browsing, ensures higher ranking on search engines, reduces bandwidth costs, and more!

Picking the most competent service can seem intimidating, especially when you have so many choices. To help you select the best one, I have come up with a list of the top 10 CDN.

What is a CDN

A Content delivery network or CDN is a group of geographically spread servers and data centers. Over an access request for website content, a CDN collects the original file from the origin server and the proxy servers cache and store it to deliver the content to the requested user from the closest server. 

A CDN speeds up delivery:

  • texts, scripts, graphics (web object)
  • Software documents, media files (downloadable object)
  • On-demand video streaming
  • Live video streaming
  • Social networks, etc.

A CDN can:

  • Improve your website uptime 
  • Limit latency 
  • Ensure speedy loading
  • Defend cyber threats and DDoS with SSL, TLS encryption, WAF (Web Applications Firewall), etc. 

Top 10 CDN

Now that you have a brief idea about CDN and its benefits, let’s put an insight into my top picks. 

Fastly

If your website runs on WordPress, Fastly can be the best CDN. It is a high-performance CDN that empowers enterprises to make their sites more scalable and reliable, acting as a bridge between the end-users and DNS. 

Key Features

  • SSD-driven worldwide located robust PoPs (Points of Presence) to ensure faster delivery

 following the shortest route

  • Supports on-demand stream, live streaming, and image optimisation
  • Large file caching
  • Intelligent cache-control and fast cache purging with a purge time of approximately 150 milliseconds

Pros

  • API programmability
  • It comes with a free plan.
  • Real-time logs
  • Highly secured with DDoS attack protection and offers SSL/TLS encryptions.

Cons

  • High SSL prices
  • Not for beginners

StackPath

StackPath is another prominent CDN with 45 edge locations (mainly in Europe and North America) that has powered its services after collaborating with MaxCDN. With this consolidated enterprise-grade CDN, you now have the power to serve your users better. 

Key Features

  • Complete and robust DDoS security (protection against layer 3, 4, 7)
  •  Real-time performance analytics for better traffic analysis and treats evaluation.
  • Fast cache purging for eliminating cached content after page update
  • StackPath comes with a 30-days free trial.

Pros

  • Free-of-cost private EdgeSSL
  • HTTP/2 support
  • Top-notch customer support
  • Complete DDoS attack protection

Cons

  • No free plan

Cloudflare

If you are searching for a quality CDN with a featureful free plan, Cloudflare is the most befitting pick for you. Covering more than 90 countries, this global anycast CDN has become a dependable place for accelerating website performance.

Key Features

  • Cloudflare optimises both static and dynamic content delivery
  • SSL certificate for only $5 per month
  • Offers automatic content cache and instant cache purging from the control panel
  • Real-time data analytics for traffic, treat and cache monitoring.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Programmable API for better control
  • HTTP/3 support

Cons

  • No advanced security features with the free plan
  • The free plan doesn’t come with the image or video optimisation facility.

KeyCDN

KeyCDN is another top-quality CDN with cutting-edge features and functionalities. It is specially designed for optimising low-traffic sites, and by paying a bit more, you can integrate it with websites experiencing heavy traffic loads.

Key Features

  • Offers instant cache purging to keep your website content synced and responsive with the application state
  • KeyCDN supports HTTP video streaming.
  • It features real-time cache, and traffic analytics.
  • Integrable with most of the frameworks, CMSs, and applications out there

Pros

  • Pay-as-you-go facility
  • Seamless WordPress integration with CDN enabler plugin
  • Cheaper than other services
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • No over-phone or chat assistance
  • No uptime guarantee

ImageKit

Are you searching for a quality CDN for images with top-notch services? ImageKit, with its surpassing image transformation and optimisation quality, can be your pick. 

Key Features

  • Features controllable per-URL based image compression
  • ImageKit doesn’t require any third-party service for image optimisation.
  • Image resizing with its Smart Crop tool.
  • Seamless integration with existing servers and storage

Pros

  • Top-notch customer support
  • Easy integration
  • Limitless free plan
  • Dynamic URL support

Cons

  • No free trial

Sucuri CDN

Sucuri is a high-performance global anycast CDN that ensures optimising your site performance besides offering top-notch protection. With Sucuri WordPress CDN, you now get the power to make your website speedier by around 70%!

Key Features

  • Ensures higher availability and redundancy
  • Smart caching to cache both dynamic and static content
  • Option to customise SSL certificate
  • Promises to maintain 99% uptime

Pros

  • Effortless integration with Sucuri Security WordPress plugin
  • Complete cyberthreat protection with WAF included in each plan
  • Faster HTTP/2 support coming by default upon sign-up 
  • Easy setup and management

Cons

  • No free plan available

Rackspace CDN

Built on robust hybrid cloud infrastructure, Rackspace is another top-quality CDN that can improve your website performance like never before! Though you may have to face some hurdles setting it up, it offers high coverage with its 200 data centers scattering throughout the world.

Key Features

  • Rackspace supports both static and dynamic content caching
  • Prompt provisioning with REST API or cloud Control Panel
  • Offers better control over performance
  • Rackspace CDN enables you to control access and avoid unnecessary traffic load from non-strategic locations.

Pros

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing
  • Faster load time
  • User-friendly interface
  • Free SSL

Cons

  • No DDoS protection
  • Expensive
  • Complex configuration

Akamai CDN

It is another high-performance CDN that can dramatically speed up your website, optimising the delivery process. With more than 325,000 servers located worldwide, Akamai CDN can offer you the most robust and pervasive service. 

Key Features

  • Smart caching process for both dynamic and static files
  • Supports both on-demand and live video streaming delivery
  • Improved download speed with data prefetch
  • Features real-time traffic analytics

Pors

  • SQL injections, DDoS, and XSS attack protection
  • Custom SSL
  • Incorporates WAF for better security
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Not that easy to use
  • Limited integration

BunnyCDN

Bunny CDN is among the few robust CDNs that offer incredible service at a price of your reach. Accelerate your site and optimise its performance with this high-quality network, spreading worldwide.

Key Features

  • Facility to integrate it with most of the CMS out there, including WordPress, Drupal, Magneto, etc. 
  • Real-time analysis and reporting with automatic control panel 
  • It supports creating a storage zone.
  • Bunny CDN ensures 99.99% uptime.

Pros

  • Supports image optimisation and HTTP video streaming
  • Unlimited website supported
  • Free trial for 14-days
  • Hotlinking, bad bot, malicious IP, and DDoS security

Cons

  • No over-phone customer assistance

Imperva CDN

With the global network of 47 PoPs, Imperva CDN ensures better coverage and secure and speedy content delivery to enterprises, including healthcare and technology. 

Key Features

  • Supports API programmability and UI analytics
  • Imperva promises to ensure 99.99% uptime.
  • Machine learning-based dynamic caching
  • ensures reducing bandwidth usage by up to 60%

Pros

  • Complete protection against DDoS attacks, abusive bots, and suspicious IPs
  • Easy setup with a few clicks!
  • Instant cache purge
  • Free online trail

Cons

  • No storage included

How to Build a CDN: Create your Own CDN for Improved Flexibility

For accelerating your website growth with a high-performance network, there is no better choice than implementing a CDN, a highly distributed assembly of web servers and data centers that optimise your website content delivery and performance by limiting latency. It serves the users with the requested content delivered from their closest server, thus improving loading time. 

You have a handful of options of high-quality CDNs out there, but not everyone’s need is the same, neither the budget sometimes allow, right? While you can outsource the entire service, have you ever wondered how to build a CDN to match your specific requirements and enjoy more flexibility and scalability?

To help you throughout the process, I am offering a brief overview of how you can build a CDN.

How Does a CDN Work

Let’s describe the working process of CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) in a nutshell. As I have already mentioned, CDNs deliver static content (images, videos, JavaScript, HTML files) (sometimes dynamic) of a website from the server in proximity to a user upon receiving a request.

  • It caches all website content, files, data, and pages before (push CDN) or upon request (pull CDN) reclaiming from the origin server and distributes them among all its edge servers. 
  • Once the CDN gets a content request, it promptly delivers that content from the nearest CDN server available to the requested user. 
  • The origin server hosts the site and delivers content from a single server. So the request has to cross a longer distance than a CDN.
  • The less distance the request has to cross, the less time it takes to deliver content. 
  • Hence it takes less time for the CDN service to deliver content than the origin server. 

When You Need Your Own CDN

Are you wondering whether you should go with commercial CDNs or build your own one? Let’s get insight into the circumstances that indicate you need your own CDN:

  • Commercial CDN services can cost you a lot of money. If you are running on a limited budget and still need your website to perform optimally, the most viable solution is to go with a private CDN.
  • Do you require full control over your website content, ensuring top-notch security? Build your own CDN instead of using a traditional one that can induce compliance and security issues. 
  • Creating a private CDN is viable when you want confirmed bandwidth and a permanent cache.
  • You can accelerate your dynamic content delivery with your private CDN system.
  • When you hire a CDN provider, you don’t have control over the network configurability. They may fail to serve the visitors of some specific locations as they might not have data centers in your target regions. When you have your own CDN, you can configure the CDN network better and serve the visitors better. 

How to Build a CDN

Now that you have decided to integrate a self-managed private CDN with your website, let’s get an in-depth overview of how to build a CDN.

Creating a CDN requires you to follow the following three steps:

  • Use physical machines or cloud instances to build the CDN
  • Employ Isps and routing principles
  • Origin server and PoPs configuration

Let’s get into the details:

On-premises or Cloud: Choose the Best One

which would be the most viable solution for deploying your CDN, cloud instances, or physical machines? Don’t fret, as you also have the option to use cloud instances for some portion of your private CDN and on-premises for others!

Take the following factors into account and make the best deployment decision:

  • If you intend to go with a cloud infrastructure, evaluate if the provider you are considering has all the required setup, machines, and data centers to serve your content available in your target location. 
  • Analyse which setup will suit your case better, on-premises setup or public cloud?
  • Evaluate which one would be cheaper for you based on your traffic load/second. Would it be viable for you to hire IT professionals to handle the architecture, or can you depend on Logging as a Service (LAAS)?
  • Choose the best setup: hybrid, on-premises, or public cloud, that will make your system more scalable.
  • Count on different security features and vulnerabilities coming with each option.

Pick the Right ISPs and Routing 

Now that you have selected the deployment system, the time has come to implement ISPs and routing principles to point the requests your site receives to the PoPs nearest to the visitors. 

While executing this step, keep an expert eye on the following points:

  • Make sure your ISP(s) cover your target location(s).
  • Ensure your ISP is always available
  • Considering the cost is another significant criterion while selecting your ISP (Internet service provider) as the cost is a variant of multiple factors.  
  • Make sure your ISPs can cope with rapid traffic shifts. 

Origin server and PoPs configuration

While selecting the origin server to host your website, you would choose a provider close to you, right? When it comes to the point of PoPs (Points of Presence), you need to be thoughtful and place them in your target locations based on the following factors:

  • Evaluate in which region you want your website or business to flourish and place the PoPs accordingly.
  • Count on the latency between your site visitors and hosting server while placing the PoPs.
  • Evaluate your website traffic pattern to ensure your users enjoy top-notch browsing, and your infrastructure works optimally. 

Besides these core steps, you must get a quality DNS service and security certificates for all PoPs and ensure a robust content distribution system setup (to ensure all PoPs house the same content).

Benefits of Traditional CDN

Though few, a traditional CDN has some advantages over a private CDN. Some of them are:

  • Commercial CDNs are more effortless to deploy, set up, and integrate with your website than a private one.
  • Unless you opt for cloud instances, you require your own infrastructure to deploy your own CDN (a costly process). On the other hand, a commercial CDN comes with the software and required infrastructure.

Best CDN for Video: Everything You Need to Know to Deliver Optimised Video

With the exponential growth of the video streaming industry to accelerate businesses, reach broader people, and ensure virtual collaboration among employees, the employment of Content Delivery Networks is skyrocketing. 

If you want to ensure the video you broadcast is of high quality, doesn’t buffer sustaining an optimal loading speed, delivering it with a single server is not viable. The most befitting solution here is to employ the best CDN for video. Almost all video-sharing sites now integrate CDNs with their websites to speed up the delivery process and limit bandwidth costs. 

Do you wonder what a video CDN is and how it can help facilitate your content delivery process? I will serve you with all the essential information and a well-researched list of the best CDN for video. 

What is a Video CDN

CDN is a globally distributed infrastructure of proxy servers that ensures offering better online browsing by lowering latency (time a server requires to respond to a request), which, in return, optimises websites’ performance

CDNs for video streaming are networks of dedicated servers that receive big original video files from the origin server, and their edge servers store them after caching. 

Thus video CDNs deliver high-quality videos (both live and on-demand) to the requested end-users from the data centers at their proximity, ensuring improved loading time. 

A video CDN:

  • decreases video buffering
  • shortens startup time
  • improves video resolution

How Does Video CDN Work

The working process of a video CDN is identical to a traditional CDN:

  • When a user requests for a video stream, it is forwarded to the requested device as ‘video chunks‘ (small segments of video packets).
  • Once these video chunks reach the user’s video player, they get organised back-to-back to replicate the original packet. 
  • When the video-sharing website uses a video CDN, it caches all video chunks and distributes them among its edge servers to deliver them from the visitors’ nearest data center.
  • If the CDN receives a request for the first time, it gets the original file from the hosting server and caches it for subsequent requests. 
  • For a live-streaming, CDN caches the real-time video chunks and delivers them straight from the closest server. 
  • Though there occurs some delay in caching the packets, a quality video CDN is efficient enough to keep the timing close to the real-time streaming. 
  • CDN servers are placed closer to the end-users than the hosting server. So, they can significantly reduce round-trip time (processing delay at the echoing end), bandwidth consumption and improve page loading to boost live-streaming quality. 

Why Use a Video CDN

Some of the surpassing benefits of adding the best CDN for video to your video-sharing website are:

  • It Offers Scalability: Video CDN, with its worldwide distributed servers, eliminates the need to rely on a single server and handles traffic more efficiently, offering a high-performance network. So your website is always available, and robust and you can provide a scalable and reliable video streaming experience to your visitors. 
  • Offers Quality Service: With a video CDN provider, you can send both on-demand and live videos to your users following the shortest route. Thus the video buffers less, and your audience can enjoy a better viewing experience. 
  • Comes with Layers of Security: Video CDN providers secure your system with layers of protection. When you deliver the requested stream via CDN, it ensures your users are protected with HTTPS. Furthermore, the SSL certificate, WAF (Web Application Firewall) etc., coming with a quality video CDN, can offer an extra layer of protection against cyberattacks. 
  • Global Content Delivery: There is no alternative to employ the best CDN for video if you want your video-sharing service to reach a global audience when almost 3/4 of internet users rely on smartphones to stream videos. In that case, serving the video with the origin server will only decrease the video quality and prolong latency. With geographically scattered PoPs, a video CDN ensures you can reach audiences worldwide without compromising the video quality. 

Best CDN for Video

Now that you have a brief overview of video CDNs and their significance, let’s get into the list of the best CDN for video:

Akamai

If you are searching for an absolution solution for media delivery with optimised broadcast, Akamai can be your ultimate preference. 

Its specially engineered video CDN delivers high-quality video streams, safeguards them with top-notch security layers, and boosts your business-critical asset delivery with its globally placed edge servers. 

The exceeding features include:

  • Powerful DNS to make the network more robust and responsive
  • Excellent protection against cyberthreats like DDoS attacks
  • Various format HTTP video delivery supported.
  • Features 24/7 turned key option for seamless video stream management.

Cloudflare 

To offer better coverage and a satisfactory video viewing experience to your audience, Cloudflare has distributed its network of servers across 100 countries

Serve your users with high-quality, less buffering video with this specially designed video CDN. As the free plan doesn’t include video delivery, you have to subscribe for premium plans to avail of this facility.

The key facilities it offers:

  • Cloudflare offers protection against DDoS attacks
  • Offers both on-demand stream and HTTP live streaming
  • It ensures mobile optimisation
  • Offers fast full cache purging

KeyCDN

Accelerate your video delivering process by employing KeyCDN, a high-performance global network of over 40 data centers that serves high-resolution, less lagging videos worldwide without breaking your bank!

Some key features are:

  • It supports HTML5, MP3, MOV, FLV, almost all formats
  • KeyCDN protects your site from DDoS attacks, suspicious IPs, and bad bots
  • Pay-as-you-go option

Fastly

Fastly is another top-quality video CDN that offers excellent coverage with its globally distributed 60 data centers. 

Besides ensuring top-notch customer support, Fastly promises to boost the video viewing experience, managing traffic efficiently. 

Some of the features:

  • It supports various formats, including MSS, HDS, HLS, and DASH.
  • Real-time traffic analytics
  • Super-fast video loading
  • TLS encryption and DDoS protection

Amazon CloudFront

CloudFront is another fast-growing video CDN that provides high-class coverage with over 225 PoPs. CloudFront is especially popular for on-demand video delivery and is now becoming a part of large enterprises.

Features of Amazon CloudFront:

  • TSL, SSL encryption
  • Full-featured API
  • Device detection capacity for better delivery
  • Pay-as-you-go facility

How to Use a CDN: Integrate a CDN with Your Website for Better Performance

Instantaneous web page loading, both on computers and mobile devices, is a vital criterion to scale a site’s performance when there are innumerous websites available on the internet today. 

Users demand a seamless browsing experience, and the conversion rate can decline by around 7% if there is a delay in page loading even of 100ms. To convert your visitors into leads and extend your website reach, integrating a CDN with your site is the call of the time, especially when people have a handful of speedy websites to get their information online. 

Are you searching for how to use a CDN to boost your business online or make your website flourish? I have come up with the essential information. 

What is a Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network or shortly known as a CDN is a distribution of caching servers and their Points of Presence (PoPs). These servers get scattered worldwide in a well-planned manner. So they can offer coverage to your target locations and convey the static content (HTML and Javascript files, video, image) (some CDNs deliver both static and dynamic content) your end-users demand from their closest data center. The result is, your site experiences decreased latency that can ensure better browsing to the visitors. 

Are you wondering which enterprises or websites use CDN as an integral part of their business?

These are:

  • E-stores
  • Government organisations
  • Financial institutes
  • Technology related websites
  • Different mobile applications
  • Media and advertising websites

Why You Need a CDN: CDN for Improved Performance and Loading Time

CDN services strive to boost your website performance by improving your site’s speed and decreasing loading delay. 

Let’s get in-depth how it optimises the performance:

  • CDNs can limit the virtual distance between servers and end-users as they have edge servers located in multiple locations to deliver the requested content. So the round-trip delay decreases, and the loading time is improved, resulting in a faster website. The faster the speed is, the prompt the delivery process is. The outcome is, your site performance gets boosted. 
  • CDN servers comprise high-end RAM and SSD to store cache high-priority and low-priority content, respectively. So your site’s static content is always cacheable, which ensures your visitors are served as soon as they request content, resulting in rapid loading.
  • CDNs not only optimise the content delivery, but they can also optimise the content like images by compressing or resizing them, making the site load faster.
  • With efficient traffic distribution and handling, CDN servers ensure guaranteed uptime, even during traffic spikes. It makes your site always available, ensuring better performance. 
  • CDNs come with TLS /SSL encryption, WAF protection for each CDN server, and DDoS attacks protection as a part of their service. The more encrypted the system is, the more robustly it can perform. 

How to Use a CDN

Now that you have a brief overview of CDN, let’s get into how to use a CDN.

You need to execute three steps, and you are done with the CDN implementation process!

The steps to use a CDN are:

  • Picking a CDN provider and register
  • Preparing your website for integration
  • Connecting the CDN with the site

Now let’s explain the steps briefly:

Picking a CDN provider and register

The foremost step of using a CDN with your site is to pick the most befitting CDN for your specific case. 

You will have a handful of options, both a free plan and paid one. Evaluate your requirement and pick one.

  • If you run a large website with massive loads, pick a CDN that you can install manually and configure it with the hosting service.
  • For medium to small sites, select a hosting provider that comes with a CDN service. 
  • If you want high-end automation with improved scalability, you can pick from the next-gen CDNs specially engineered based on the one-size-fits-all policy. 

A hosting that incorporates CDN service only requires you to update your account setting. But for the CDN that needs manual configuration, you have to purchase the CDN license first and follow the succeeding process. 

Preparing your website for integration

Now that you have decided on the CDN provider, you have to prepare your website for integration. The process may vary a little bit based on the CMS you use. 

As WordPress is the leading CMS today, let’s discuss this step by taking this CMS into account. WordPress offers effortless integration with CDNs with its efficient plugins: WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. You can also add the CDN manually. 

While the WP Super Cache plugin works excellently, for more scalability and controlled settings, pick the W3 Total Cache.

The next task is to install and activate the plugin you have picked on your site for integration. 

Connecting the CDN with the site

The final step is to integrate the CDN with WordPress. This process may vary based on the tools you have chosen previously. 

Check if your CDN requires any specific steps to follow, as many providers come with custom plugins for perfect content syncing. 

You now have to use your picked plugin to take the CDN into action for delivering your content instead of the hosting server. For that, you need to configure the plugin to get it synced with your preferred CDN. While for the WP Super Cache plugin, you only have to copy and paste the URL given by your CDN provider in the off-site URL box, the configuration process may seem a bit complicated for the W3 Total Cache.

Now you are done with integrating a CDN with your site! Does the process seem intimidating? Don’t fret. Contact your CDN support team, and they will be happy to assist you!

The Best CDN for WordPress: Your All-in-one Solution to Ensure Customer Satisfaction

To keep pace with the fast-moving world, you need to keep your website accelerated and broaden its reach by ensuring customer satisfaction. With the increasing load of content and traffic in dynamic websites, you may face two issues: security vulnerability and decreasing loading speed.

Thanks to CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) that ensure speedy loading and keep the malicious IPs and threats away. And if you operate your site on WordPress, the most popular CMS, the best CDN for WordPress, should be your ultimate choice to optimise your website and rank on the search engines.

Do you require the best CDN for WordPress? I am offering the necessary information and a comprehensive list to make the best decision.

What is a WordPress CDN

Content Delivery Network, shortly termed as CDN, is a cluster of web servers scattered across the world to optimise content delivery and speed-up site loading by sending cached files to the end-users from their most proximate PoPs (Points of Presence). 

A WordPress CDN is basically a traditional CDN. When you add it to a WordPress site, it hosts it, caches the static content (videos, images, CSS, JavaScript), and optimises the delivery limiting the latency (the round-trip period a data packet needs to travel).

Working Process of a WordPress CDN Work

  • When you pick a WordPress hosting provider, they host your site and deliver your content from the same single server. 
  • If the traffic load is high, the site may slow down and encounter downtimes.
  • When you integrate a CDN with your WordPress, it copies and reserves your web pages in multiple proxy servers worldwide. 
  • When a user searches for a page, the WordPress CDN promptly shows that page from the most adjacent PoP rather than the host server. 
  • It, as a result, improves your website’s load time and optimises its performance.

Benefits of WordPress CDN

Employing the best CDN for WordPress comes with tremendous benefits:

  • It Promotes Website SEO: The speedier the page load is, the more beneficial it is for SEO. Loading speed is again a significant determinant of  website ranking in Google results. As I have already mentioned, a WordPress CDN makes the pages of your site load faster. Thus, it can play a vital role in improving the site’s SEO, which can help you rank in search engines. 
  • CDN Services Limit Bounce Rates: With thousands of WordPress websites available today, people don’t stick to a page for more than 45 seconds. And if it loads slowly, it will increase the bounce rate more. With the excellent functionalities and globally located data centers, WordPress CDNs can provide the visitors with static content of a site in no time. Consequently, you will notice a lowered bounce rate. 
  • Improved Website Uptime: Whether you house your website on a private server or a shared one, it may run slow or even crash if the traffic load is high. WordPress CDNs come into use here as they are specially devised to manage heavy traffic and keep the performance optimal. But if your site receives massive requests for dynamic resources, it can also face downtimes, even with a CDN. Hiring a web hosting that can make the CDN system more efficacious by caching your site assets on their servers is a viable solution to maintain an optimal uptime. 
  • It Saves Bandwidth: When you incorporate a CDN service to a site, it will lessen traffic load from the origin server, forwarding the requested pages from its geographically placed PoPs. Thus it limits bandwidth consumption and cuts expenses.
  • Offers Seamless User Experience: The Best CDN for WordPress not only ensures seamless customer satisfaction with prompt loading but also makes your website mobile-friendly by optimising static content delivery, no matter what device the users are using.

Best CDN for WordPress

To assist you in picking the best CDN for WordPress, I am offering a well-researched brief.

Cloudflare

Cloudflare, the most reputable free CDN, is my top pick. With its free plan, you are getting speedy delivery (both dynamic and static asset) coupled with shared SSL encryption, access to 180 data centers scattered globally, and limited DDoS security. 

For more robust protection, you can go with the premium plan.

This high-quality CDN provider features:

  • HTTP/3 support
  • Premium plans feature WAF (Web Application Firewall)
  • API programmability for workflow automation
  • Instant cache purging

KeyCDN

If you are searching for the best CDN for WordPress, KeyCDN might be the ultimate choice. Besides offering extensive coverage with over 40 data centers, KeyCDN provides a free WordPress CDN plugin that ensures effortless incorporation with your site. 

Some specialties:

  • SSD utilisation for better performance and fast delivery
  • Free HTTP/2 support, TLS encryption, Secure Token, two-step authentication, Block Bad Bot, and more for better security!
  • Cache-control for speedy access
  • Real-time analytics for offering normalised traffic data

MaxCDN (StackPath)

MaxCDN is a quality CDN with surpassing features. After collaborating with StackPath, today, it has 45 data centers (MaxCDN alone had 36), coming with top SSD drives scattered throughout the world for super-quick content delivery. 

Some cutting-edge features are:

  • Includes WAF in all plans
  • Smart caching with instant cache purging
  • Offers real-time traffic analytics
  • Flexible SSL options and DDoS attacks mitigation

Sucuri

It is another best CDN for WordPress that promises to accelerate your site loading by 70%. You have to subscribe to its WAF, and the CDN comes with it by default. 

This global anycast system is positioned worldwide and offers the following key features:

  • Smart caching to limit bandwidth usage
  • DNS monitoring
  • It offers real-time security against attacks, content spamming, malware IPs, etc.
  • Uptime monitoring 

Incapsula (Imperva)

Incapsula is another free yet full-featured CDN service that ensures hosting your site pages globally with intelligent cache control and network optimisation for better and faster delivery, improving the load time.

The key features are:

  • Real-time threat analysis, traffic monitoring, DDoS attack protection, and failover control 
  • Facility to adjust caching via modes
  • HTTP/2 support for better speed and security.

Why Use a CDN: Advantages and Downsides of Using a CDN

With more than 4.5 billion users, the internet has become the biggest virtual landscape today. When businesses and enterprises can utilise it for extending their business reach and increase sales, the challenge here is to ensure a seamless user experience with prompt page loading, faster content delivery, and decreased latency. 

Implementing a CDN can be the ultimate solution to optimise your site performance and reach more people and turn them into converting leads.

Are you a beginner in the realm of the web and wondering about why use a CDN? To help you get an in-depth insight into this widely adopted service, here is a comprehensive overview. 

Content Delivery Network

Content Delivery Networks or CDNs are a complex cluster of networks consisting of web servers. When you integrate a CDN with your website, its edge servers (PoPs) distribute your site content throughout the network after caching. 

Thus your user gets served from the server located nearby, which, in return, ensures faster web page loading and scalability.

Let’s understand the functionality of a CDN with an example:

  • Let’s assume you run a website based in London. When a user requests access to an image of your site from San Francisco, the request has to travel a long way as these two cities are around 5,351 miles apart.
  • Now, if you depend on your London-based hosting server to respond to that request and deliver the image to the target user, that might cause a delay of almost 300 milliseconds
  • When a delay of 3-second in page loading can make around 40% of visitors abandon a webpage, the subsequent requests a website receives will only add to this round-trip delay and make your site slow down. 
  • But when you incorporate a CDN service, it, with its caching servers located worldwide, can deliver that requested image to the user located in San Francisco from that user’s nearest server. 
  • So, the user can get access to the requested web content in no time!

Why Use a CDN

Now that you have got a brief overview of CDN functionality, let’s put insight into why use a CDN:

Optimised Performance with a Speedy Site

The leading cause of integrating a CDN with a website is its power to accelerate your site performance. Thus it decreases latency which can speed up the site like never before! 

With the rapid incorporation of videos in websites, the webpage size has risen by around 243% from 2010 to 2016. 

When you use a CDN with your site, it will optimise these media files, combat buffering, and improve loading time, optimising the website performance. 

Limits Bandwidth Usage 

When you cannot deny the significance of a traditional web hosting service, using a CDN is a must to mitigate the downsides of a hosting provider. 

A CDN has its caching servers worldwide to offload traffic from the hosting server. So the origin server has to respond to fewer requests and transfer fewer data. The fewer data the origin server has to handle, the less bandwidth is used, limiting the bandwidth expenses. 

Website Availability and Better Traffic Management

A CDN, with its geographically located data centers, can manage and distribute traffic better. CDNs can cache your static content and distribute them among its servers. So even if the origin server is down, the site will still be available for some visitors as the content can be delivered by CDN servers. 

Don’t worry if your website is full of dynamic content. You will find a handful of CDN providers serving both static and dynamic content.

Better Security and DDoS Attack Mitigation

Each server of almost all CDN providers comes with Web Application Firewall (WAF) protection to keep your website protected from suspicious IPs and requests. WAF is a superior security layer of a CDN that enables caching servers to measure the malicious incoming access requests and block them before reaching the main server. 

Edge servers also feature DDoS attack protection, TLS encryption, Secure Token, SSL certificate, etc., to offer you a highly encrypted and secured system. 

SEO Advantages

With the exponential increase in websites and their users, the significance of SEO is beyond words. When you want your site to be SEO optimised, you need to ensure optimal page loading. 

Google, the leading search engine, prefers speedy websites and ranks them higher. The faster the pages load, the better it is for SEO, and your chances increase to rank higher on the SERPs. 

Another vital yet overlooked factor for ranking higher on Google is how optimised your site images are. Image CDNs optimise images by resizing or compressing them. When your site images are optimised, it improves site speed, which boosts the SEO, improving the crawling frequency.

Increased Redundancy

A CDN is a highly distributed system that comes with increased redundancy. It delivers the searched content from the PoP nearby the visitor. So even if an edge server goes down, CDN can deliver the content from another nearby PoP, which means you can offer your visitors a better and reliable service. 

CDN Cost

A CDN provider offers third-party services that may come in different pricing based on various factors:

  • SSL certificate
  • Bandwidth 
  • Geographic locations to cover

While you have high-end, expensive CDNs for commercial use, there are quality-performance, cost-effective CDNs available for mid/small-sized sites.

When CDN Makes No Sense

Though CDNs can offer surpassing benefits to your business, there are some points when implementing a CDN can be less necessary:

  • If your website experiences low traffic with few searches, adding a CDN service with the site may be less required. 
  • When your website users are from the same geographic region, you don’t require a CDN server. While serving the local people, using a CDN for caching and storing content throughout its edge servers scattered in multiple locations worldwide is unnecessary. 

Cons of a CDN

Though few, using a CDN service may come with some downsides:

  • Using a CDN can add to your expenses a little bit. Though not much, you may have to spend £0.072/GB
  • Though rare, storing the files on all edge servers is prone to security vulnerability.
  • CDNs offer smooth integration with the most popular CMS like WordPress or Drupal. But you may require to modify codes while developing custom applications.